This Woman Defeated Breast Cancer with Tamoxifen, But Four Years Later, She Acquired Another Disease

If diagnosed with breast cancer, your physician will prescribe you a treatment plan suitable for your condition. This may include medication such as Tamoxifen. The drug is available as a pill or liquid, which you can consume once a day. Taking medicine at the same time each day is highly recommended by doctors. Tamoxifen is given to patients in the early stages of breast cancer. It is also sometimes advisable to consume Tamoxifen for five years after surgery to ensure cancer won’t recur.

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There are also instances when doctors prescribe another ten years of taking Tamoxifen if it’s safe for your condition. It’s a critical decision because, similar to any drug, Tamoxifen has common and severe side effects. A woman from Perth, Australia, has shared her experience with breast cancer and the shocking impact of Tamoxifen on her body. Lisa Evans had a rollercoaster journey while fighting the illness; four years after medication, cancer still got a hold of her life.

Photo: Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

At 39 years old, Lisa Evans showed no signs of breast cancer until her GP suggested examining her breasts. After the checkup, the GP told her that one breast was thickening. Turns out a tumor was already developing in her body. It was a 6.5 cm tumor in her left breast; she was in the third stage of cancer already. For this reason, she had to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy. However, the side effects she experienced from chemo challenged her body even more. Lisa almost completely lost her vision and coordination and experienced hallucinations.

She fought through the difficulties even when her doctor suggested stopping the treatment, but it badly impacted her. The former admin worker drew strength from her children. “I said, ‘I don’t have a choice – it doesn’t matter if it nearly kills me,'” she said. Thankfully, she survived therapy and recovered her strength. Her medical results declared that Lisa was entirely free from cancer. One of the things that helped her was taking Tamoxifen. It was indeed effective until she discovered the drug contributed to endometrial cancer growth.

Photo: Pexels/Ivan Samkov

Tamoxifen blocks estrogen from linking to breast cancer cells and hinders the tumor’s growth, making it an excellent method for preventing cancer threats. Tamoxifen lowers the potential development of cancer by 30 to 50 percent of women in the premenopausal stage. As for postmenopausal women, the drug reduces the cancer’s development by 40 to 50 percent. The duration of Tamoxifen usage plays a crucial role in whether severe side effects occur.

Photo: Pexels/ Tima Miroshnichenko

According to experts, the medication causes enydometrial cancer when taken for a long time. Tamoxifen alters the uterine lining, which can sometimes cause patients to need a hysterectomy. After five years of being cancer-free, Lisa underwent procedures to defeat endometrial cancer. “You go on a drug to limit your chances of breast cancer again, but then it gives you a higher risk of endometrial cancer,” Evans said.

She was only in the first stages of the illness when it was detected in her body. The therapeutic horse riding classes owner remains optimistic about her situation and is adamant about getting past the hurdle. “My friends say how do I feel? I say, clearly I’m an overachiever,” she told News9. With everything she went through, Lisa is determined to raise awareness about the challenges that come along with cancer and treatment.

Photo: Pexels/Thirdman

She has continued to empower others and joined a campaign by So Brave — an Australian breast cancer charity organization. A photoshoot was organized with six other women whose lives were hugely impacted by breast cancer. The So Brave calendar is a project that helps raise breast cancer awareness — a creative way to inspire those battling the disease.

Due to cases like Lisa Evans’s, Cancer Australia urges patients to know more about Tamoxifen before considering it as part of their medication. “The risk of endometrial cancer increases with longer use of Tamoxifen. In women who take Tamoxifen for 10 years, the risk of endometrial cancer is twice as high as the risk in women who take Tamoxifen for 5 years,” the organization explained. Patients must take note of such vital information before using the drug and discuss it with their doctors.

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